DULUTH, GEORGIA, U.S. — Martin Richenhagen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of AGCO Corp., has been named a Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'Honneur (Legion of Honor) by the government of France.
This high-ranking honorary decoration was given during a recent ceremony held at AGCO’s global headquarters in Duluth, Georgia, U.S., in the presence of the French Consul General in Atlanta, Louis de Corail.
The Legion of Honor, established by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802, is the highest distinction conferred by the government of France. It is awarded to recognize those people and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to France in a variety of fields.
AGCO began operations in France, when the group became the parent company of the Massey Ferguson brand in 1994, taking ownership of the Beauvais Massey Ferguson plant.
Opened in 1960, the Beauvais AGCO site remains today the Global Centre of Excellence for Massey Ferguson engineering and manufacturing, as well as the first private employer of the whole Picardie region.
With operations in Beauvais, Ennery and Courcouronnes, as well as its joint ventures GIMA and AGCO Finance, AGCO has approximately 2,500 employees in the country.
As continental Europe’s second largest economy, and one of the largest markets for farm machinery, France represents a strategically important market for AGCO, the company said.
In France, AGCO actively drives business activities centered on the design, manufacture and distribution of farm machinery, strongly contributing to the French economy.
This decoration is in recognition, under Richenhagen’s leadership, of AGCO’s contributions to the development of France and France-U.S. relations.
“I pay tribute, through him, to the strength of AGCO Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and solutions, and to its willingness to expand and develop in Europe, and especially in France where AGCO’s French-made tractors are admired and respected,” said Dr. Monique Seefried, Chevalier in the Order of the Legion of Honor. “Tractors embody our past and our future, linking our ancient human roots in agriculture to the technological progress of the 20th century. Tractors bring us back to the land, to the oldest profession of farming while heralding the power of machinery and industry.”
Richenhagen said it is an honor and privilege to receive this prestigious decoration from the French Government.
“I am delighted and proud to have our French operations receive such high recognition. In developing our business in Europe, a region which for AGCO is first in revenue contribution, France is a strategic market of great importance,” he said. “During the past six years, we have invested more than 300 million euros in our Beauvais and Ennery operations, creating close to 300 new jobs to support our ambition for growth. This would not have been possible without the outstanding commitment of our 2,500 employees and this recognition is also theirs. We truly consider France as a business-friendly environment supported by an entrepreneurial policy led by President Emmanuel Macron. We hope to make ever-more progress in our development, to contribute to further growing the relationship between France and the USA.”
Richenhagen was selected by the board of directors in March 2004 as president and CEO. He was appointed to chairman of the board on Aug. 15, 2006.